Thoughts on Joe Girardi

When covering a team in a big market such as New York, thoughts about a guy end up either being considered as an apologist or a critic. That very much happens when it comes to talking about Joe Girardi, the manager of the New York Yankees. As human beings, we at times make flippant comments that are meant to be jokes and they appear derisive to others. Sometimes that happens as a writer too. So no piece that is written to consider the current manager of the biggest franchise in sports is going to be taken simply as general thoughts on the guy. Whatever I may write here will fall to some as the apologist or the critic. But neither is the case. I like Joe Girardi. I like him a lot. Do I think he is the best manager in baseball? How do you measure that?

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Must click link: Glanville on Mo

Thought this piece by former player and one time Spring Training invitee Doug Glanville was worth reading. Yet another testament to the genius that is Mo, and I’m not talking about the on-the-field stuff:

Off the field, you immediately noticed how the greatest closer of all-time was still humble, disarming any clubhouse tension, adding perspective to the most trying of times with a pat on the shoulder or a grin. I have been in locker rooms where the tension could be cut like a knife, and also in locker rooms so fulfilling that you couldn’t wait to be there. But never before had I experienced one that seemed to have a cloud of divine inspiration hovering over it. With his remarkable statistics, Rivera has been the personification of that cloud year in and year out. But he is also the big brother who makes sure that everyone gets to the family reunion or that you don’t forget to call your cousin Glenda on her 50th birthday. Everything he does feels as if it’s for some sort of greater good.

We will all miss the great Mariano Rivera when he’s done playing because of his excellence ON the field. But it’s his off-the-field presence that will be equally hard to replicate. Continue reading Must click link: Glanville on Mo

Cashman testifies in Clemens trial

Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman testified in the Roger Clemens yesterday, and dealt a major blow to the prosecution’s case. The upshot is this: the case against Clemens mostly rests on how credible the jury finds Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee, who claims he injected Clemens with both steroids and HGH and has DNA evidence to prove it, and Cashman essentially testified that McNamee was a jerk and a sleaze that the Yankees organization didn’t like. He also testified that the Yankees have no evidence Clemens used steroids, and that ball players often get injections of B-vitamins, which supports the defense’s theory as to how McNamee came to have Clemens’ DNA on a syringe.

Oh, did I mention that Cashman was a witness for the prosecution? Am I allowed to speculate that they might be screwing the pooch by continuing to call witnesses who harm their case yet?

Now, for the really important question: who will be the first writer to claim this is all an orchestrated conspiracy by the Yankees to get Clemens off and to cover up for themselves somehow? Continue reading Cashman testifies in Clemens trial

Yanks vs. M’s: Special Series Preview: 4 questions with Scott Weber

The Yankees take on the Mariners for a weekend series in the Bronx. Some guy is going to make his season debut on Sunday. To get us ready for the series, I asked my long time Internet baseball buddy Scott Weber some questions about his beloved Seattle Mariners. Scott and I go way back thanks to this forum, where I got my start in Internet baseball way back in 2005-2006. Scott’s answers to my questions are after the jump:

Waiting on the second coming

Normally, a three game weekend series against the Mariners wouldn’t generate very much buzz. At 15-18, the Mariners are 6.5 games out of first place in the A.L. West, just 0.5 game out of the cellar. They’ve been a terrible team for each of the last two seasons, and they haven’t finished a season with a positive run differential since all the way back in 2003. In short, they’re not a good team and, even with Felix Hernandez starting for them tonight, there wouldn’t usually be much intrigue surrounding the games this weekend.

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Sabathia wins battle of aces – Yankees win the series

C.C. Sabathia came up huge in the rubber game of a series with the Tampa Bay Rays and beat David Price in the process. The game meant a two game swing in the standings. With a loss, the Yankees would have fallen four and a half games behind the Rays. Instead, they closed the gap to two and a half.  The Yankees’ ace did not do it alone, of course. Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano hit huge homers off of Price and Sabathia’s personal catcher, Chris Stewart, pitched in with an RBI single that tied the game at 2-2. The game did not start on the right foot for the Yankees as we shall see. But Sabathia was the difference. This was a big win.

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UPDATED: Gardner suffers rehab setback

Brett Gardner wasn’t in Triple-A Empire State’s starting lineup for this afternoon’s game, with the expectation being that he would be activated from the disabled list and added to the major league team’s roster. Instead, he’s had a setback in rehabbing his elbow injury, and is headed for an MRI. So far, the symptoms are soreness and swelling in the injured elbow, so it sounds like the Yankees will be without Gardner for a bit longer.

Update: Gardner re-aggravated the injury, according to Carig. He won’t pick up a bat for at least 10 days, and Joe Girardi estimates that he’ll be out another 15-25 days. Continue reading UPDATED: Gardner suffers rehab setback